Rivers prepares for zonal hockey qualifiers

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LAGOS – The Head Coach of Hockey Association, Collins Iheanyi, on Saturday said it had stepped up preparations to ensure qualification from the zonal competition, ahead of the 19th National Festival.

The festival, tagged, `Paradise ’, would hold from Nov. 23 to Dec. 3 in Calabar, Cross River.

Iheanyi told NAN in Lagos that the association had drawn up a tactical training schedule to sharpen the players’ skills before the commencement of the zonal preliminaries.

Zonal qualifiers for team events would hold in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, at a yet-to-be announced date by the National Sports Commission.

“Our major priority now is to qualify from our zone, and take part in the sports festival in Calabar.

“We have programnes lined up to keep our players fit and ready for the zonal elimination when the date is announced’’, the coach said.

Iheanyi said Rivers had talented players would ensure its qualification for the games.

He lauded the Rivers Government for providing an enabling environment for the development of sports in the state.

He appealed to corporate bodies and philanthropists to complement government’s efforts by sponsoring sports. (NAN)